After last years successful beta test during the World Series, Major League Baseball has released the Android version of their award winning MLB.com At Bat 2010 app. The price tag may startle some but there really is a lot of bang for the buck.
I am a baseball fanatic. When Major League Baseball released the MLB.com At Bat 2009 app for the iPhone last year I was very jealous. I considered getting an iPod Touch just to be able to get the app. Then during the postseason the app came out for Android during the postseason as a beta test and we all knew Android would be getting it’s own app for the 2010 season.
Last week MLB.com At Bat 2010 showed up on the Market and I grabbed it immediately. The $15 price-tag may startle some but this is one app that is definitely worth it for any baseball fan.
When you open the app you are presented with a list of games scheduled for that day. You can scroll through the days left and right. Tapping a game brings up details such as starting pitchers and a list of television and radio stations covering the game. If the game is being played you can watch pitch by pitch data of the game though it is unclear if MLB.tv subscribers ($200 a year) will be able to watch the actual game pitch by pitch through the Android app like out iPod/iPhone brethern.
Clicking the Menu from the schedule screen brings up a host of options, and this is where things get good. You have your standard news and standings which do exactly what you would think (although I have had problems with the news not always loading but a quick tap of the back button and loading it again has solved it). The video highlight section is great. The highlight videos come quickly over 3G and are pretty good quality. But where this app shines and gives you your value is the Audio.
Clicking Audio gives you your choice of listening to either teams local radio coverage (when available). But it does have it’s problems. I listened to three games and switched between the two feeds. One third of the time it worked perfectly, one third of the time the audio was so soft it was inaudible, and one third of the time it was so full of static I could deal with it. I expect these problems to be ironed out by the time first pitch is thrown on April 4th.
MLB has stated that they are working on all their mobile apps constantly and have already updated the Android app once. There is an email address within the app to email for feedback or support which is something more developers should do. One thing I have not been able to find out about is blackout dates. Major League Baseball has the most complicated blackout rules for viewing and listening to the game. I do not know if these rules carry over to their mobile app.
One thing lacking from the app is any sort of notifications. I expected a least to be able to set some sort of alarm before my favorite team was going to start a game but there’s nothing of the sort. Also it should be noted, MLB.tv (where this app gets its info from) is notorious for being 5-20 minutes behind live games so if you are hoping to augment your television viewing with your Android device it might be a bit frustrating.
Even with the problems I mentioned (most of which I do expect MLB to fix by opening day) this is the app for the hardcore MLB fan despite the premium price.